Sabbatini Leads Gore Close Down Under

By Associated PressDecember 8, 2007, 5:00 pm
PGA TOUR of AustralasiaCOOLUM, Australia -- South Africa's Rory Sabbatini birdied the 18th hole Saturday to break out of a six-way tie and take a one-stroke lead after the third round of the Australian PGA.
Sabbatini's approach on the water-protected 18th on the Hyatt Regency resort course was just 3 feet from the pin. Playing in the last group of the day, Sabbatini finished with a 5-under 67 for a 14-under 202 total.
'I was happy to break the deadlock. It'll make it easier tomorrow,' said Sabbatini, who hit a sand wedge downwind from 124 yards to set up the tiebreaking putt.
American Jason Gore had six birdies and an eagle for an 8-under 64 -- the best round of the day -- to finish in the five-player group a stroke back.
Taking advantage of morning rain that softened the greens, Gore had three birdies and an eagle on Nos. 5-8 to make the turn in 30.
'I got off to a great start,' Gore said. 'It helps to do that when you know you've got the tough back nine coming up. Having said that, I left a couple of putts that were short.'
Gore was tied with Australian Adam Bland, who chipped in from a bunker on 18 for a 65, first-round leader Michael Sim (65), two-time champion Peter Lonard (68) and New Zealand's David Smail (67).
Second-round leader Adam Scott had a triple-bogey 8 on the par-5 12th when he missed the fairway, then the green. Then his attempted chip up from a hollow came rolling back down to where he hit it.
Scott finished with a 72, including a birdie on the last, that left him in a group of five four strokes off the lead. Defending champion Nick O'Hern (65) was five behind Sabbatini.
On the 395-yard par-4 13th, Gore hit a massive drive, and a lob wedge to 4 feet for his first birdie of the back nine. He made a 2-footer for birdie on 16.
The Californian won the PGA Tour's 2005 84 Lumber Classic and finished second this year in the Buick Open. He shot 59 in a Nationwide event in 2005 on his way to his third straight win on that tour, giving him an automatic promotion to the PGA tour.
'Those thoughts about another (a 59) came in, but they quickly escaped,' said Gore, who is vacationing in Australia with wife Megan and will play next week's Australian Open in Sydney.
Little-known Australian Ben Burge, an early starter, took advantage of the morning showers to make the turn in 29, putting him in range of the course record of 63 and perhaps a 59. But Burge, who has won three tournaments on minor Australian tours, bogeyed three of his first six holes on the back nine to finish with a 68.
Related Links:
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    Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

    Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

    Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

    “I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

    The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

    “I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

    This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

    The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

    Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

    The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.

    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

    A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

    And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

    The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.

    Masters victory

    Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

    Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

    Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative

    Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ

    Green jacket tour

    Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

    Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

    Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket

    Man of the people

    Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

    Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

    Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief

    Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together

    Ace at 17th at Sawgrass

    Growing family

    Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

    Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018

    Departure from TaylorMade

    Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade

    Squashed beef with Paddy

    Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

    Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'

    Victory at Valderrama

    Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
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    Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

    Well, this is a one new one.

    According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

    “No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

    Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

    “If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

    The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

    “I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

    The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

    Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

    Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.